A phenomenal number of my screenshots across twelve plus years highlight key dramatic moments which have nothing whatsoever to do with group participation. As a writer, it is perhaps inevitable that plot drives interaction far more than ‘hey we beat those mechanics, aren’t we great?’ I think, on considered reflection, that has a lot to do with the positive experiences I have had of raiding being slowly eroded by the attitudes of those I’ve played with. It is also my perception of what matters most in Azeroth that has altered, especially over the last few years.
There is a real sense, like it or not of late, that we’re living in that flat circle that time seems to have become in Azeroth. The Legion’s back (again) and somewhere down the line I can’t help thinking that the Scourge might return at any moment, or maybe the Sha. Revisionist history is doing my head in, and every time I think back to places like the Sunwell (where I have dispatched Kil’jaden quite a few times) I remember that the warnings were in place back then. We don’t defeat this guy, he simply gets arsekicked back into the Twisting Nether and we’re left with his necklace to loot. The warning signs were already in place: these people will keep coming back, as long as you are prepared to pitch up with a subscription. If we’re honest, your sub doesn’t matter any more as an indicator of fealty: go have that social media meltdown and see who cares. They’re too busy grinding AP and getting Ahead of the Curve to pay you any notice.
If the number of screenshots I’m seeing of KJ ‘dead’ again (with Argus in the background) is any indicator, plot and lore only matters as a backdrop these days. That’s perfectly acceptable as long as the content keeps up its relentless pace. The moment people have time to think about how paper thin exposition has become, the Devs are in real trouble. For the RP people there should be more than enough plot to allow their imaginations to be fired ad infinitum, even if the variance between versions is quite wide in places. For everybody else, this is a game you play on your own terms, and as has been previously stated, that’s absolutely fine.
Look, even the Official Launcher gets it. We’ll all go and do the old World Events content all over again, without a prompt, if you give us new stuff to buy with the currency. I asked for this, before Legion launched, and I have exactly what was requested. It doesn’t add anything to the richness of the World, just an item to my collection total. It gives a reason to be here in the summer months instead of being outside. That’s why having a World First race in June is such a great idea, and it will keep people focussed on the game because the moment that’s done, it’s all aboard the Argus Bandwagon. I’ll admit I’m looking forward to that because there will have to be some lore on that planet, right?
The question is how much of it will be pre-Expansion lore and how much will be Expansion itself. As it is almost July, I can’t help but think 7.3 might yet be the preamble to something far more significant announced at Gamescon in August.
We will, undoubtedly see soon enough.